He said "children's programmes are very important", saying "they are highly regarded and the quality has been renowned".
"We go back to Wanderly Wagon, Bosco, The Den, Zig and Zag. Bosco actually created jobs in Roscommon where it was made.
"You can influence a nation through its children so if you take that influence away and outsource it to Britain or the USA to save money it is a poor reflection."
Mr Leyden was also critical of the Oireachtas Report programme for not covering all of the Oireachtas equally, saying it had ignored the Seanad. In a statement tonight, RTÉ said it remains "committed to providing coverage of the Oireachtas as a key element of our public service remit.
"As part of ongoing reviews of our services, we are currently looking at the best ways of providing television and online coverage of the important work of the Oireachtas to the widest possible audience, particularly in the context of changing patterns of media consumption in Ireland